Rovos Rail

Rovos Rail, Pretoria: Hours, Address, Rovos Rail Reviews: 4.5/5

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Monday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
About
Since its establishment in 1989, Rovos Rail has earned an international reputation for its truly world-class travel experiences. With discreet and friendly service, five-star cuisine and a selection of South Africa’s finest wines, Rovos Rail harks back to a simpler, more elegant era encompassing the timeless grace and high romance of African exploration. In a series of journeys lasting from 48 hours to 15 days, Rovos Rail links some of the sub-continent’s greatest destinations.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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4.5
265 reviews
Excellent
203
Very good
41
Average
11
Poor
7
Terrible
3

Clive S
Sunset Beach, South Africa31 contributions
Sadly good food and service does not compensate for the logistical challenges
Nov 2021 • Couples
Let’s start with , stunning train, friendly staff , service and good food.

We did a cpt pta trip , to start we were bussed to Worcester as train arrived late , then missed first excursion, then arrived late in Bloemfontein, missed that excursion, spent 8 hours parked waiting for driver , departing we were told we will not make Pretoria. That we will be bused from Germiston , then sorry we only Meyerton, eventually we were disembarked onto the tracks in Sasolburg at 930pm, bussed to Jhb arrived at hotel circa 11pm.

We never got off the train once , spent most day three changing travel plans and disembarked feeling disappointed and frustrated.

There was a complete lack of accountability and compassion from the train manager , throwing the blame at others , when surely Rovos rail could be more proactive.

It should have been an experience to enjoy , but sadly the frustration created makes it very difficult to justify this trip.
Written 15 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @ CliveS504 Thank you for taking the time to leave a review albeit a disappointing read. We sincerely apologise for your disappointment and frustration. We tracked your journey with our navigation system and performed logistical somersaults to get the train moving but with little success. I can assure you that our train managers are deeply compassionate and upset if there are delays so perhaps the operational challenges held their focus leaving room for little else. We are sorry if you felt there was a lack of empathy but we can guarantee that was not the intention. We are doing our very best to navigate our way through South Africa's challenging railway infrastructure. Thank you for the kind words about the train, food and service. They are most appreciated. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours (Pty) Ltd
Written 16 November 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jan Nothnagel
Durban, South Africa8 contributions
Food and service at the highest levels
Oct 2021
The Rovos Rail Pretoria to CapeTown trip is one of the most amazing train experiences I ever had. The service and food on board are beyond 5-star levels. The reliance on the South African rail system is however a big drawback. We arrived a day late at our destination. Rather choose tours in neighbouring countries.
Written 26 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @ JanNothnagel Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We appreciate your positive and kind feedback as well as your understanding of the challenges we are currently facing out on the railway network. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written 28 October 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Nicki M
Cape Town, South Africa2 contributions
If only I could rewind and repeat!
Sep 2021 • Couples
A trip on the RR was always on the proverbial bucket list and it was worth the wait. It was nothing short of continual silver service from an incredibly well trained team, with the wonderful Daphne at the helm. The team’s attentiveness, attention to detail, thoroughness, warmth, friendliness and desire to strive for perfection truly earns the Rovos the title of most luxurious train in the world. It’s in the small things - like Mara and Gideon remembering what you like to drink and having it on your table when you arrived for meals, the incredible array of snacks and drinks continually available, the insanely delicious brownies at high tea, the beautiful gift and card placed on our bed to celebrate our honeymoon, the lovely toiletry bags gifted and the meticulous pressing service. A special thank you to our dedicated cabin hostess, Lebo, for meeting our every need and doing so with such grace and a smile on her face. A big thank you to Chante, Jegardie, Silverman and Innocentia for their amazing service. I loved dressing up in evening wear after two years of Covid life - it felt like such a grownup treat! What really struck me was what fantastic value for money the journey is and how transparent it is that the staff clearly love their job! An enormous adventure that I would repeat in a heartbeat! A big thank you to Carmen De Jongh at SA Rail for booking this magnificent trip for us. Dealing with her an absolute pleasure.
Written 7 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @ Travel26928768275 Thank you very much for taking the time to write your lovely review. After a challenging 20 months we so value your positive feedback and the fact that you loved to dress up! I will be sure to show Daphne, Mara, Lebo and the rest of the team your kind words. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written 12 October 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Danie92
Johannesburg, South Africa270 contributions
Par Excellence
May 2021
We did the Pretoria to Victoria Falls trip and it was pure magic. Not a single moment doubting their complete control of the trip. Being reliant on Transnet and Zimbabwean rail network is a recipe for disaster but amazingly they handled it to such an extent that it never diminished the comfort and enjoyment of the passengers. We were even delayed in Zimbabwe by a derailment in front of us. There will be delays over which they have no control but the train is a hotel so what difference does it make whether you move or don't. Units very comfortable, staff more than friendly and helpful and the food excellent. The only negative is the open coach at the back that gets hit by stone throwers between Pretoria and Bela Bela. It was also frequented by the smokers and heavy drinkers. Overall an experience that we will never forget and would dearly love to repeat.
Written 30 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @ Danie92 Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your review. We really appreciate your positive feedback and your understanding of the delays we can experience due to the national railway infrastructure. We will ensure that the team from your train read your kind comments. Thanks again and we hope to welcome you on board one day again soon! Regards, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written 4 October 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Gill Fraser
8 contributions
A great experience
Sep 2021 • Couples
Rovos Rail is truly a pocket of excellence, and are unfortunately reliant on Transnet for the rail infrastructure and other elements of rail service. However they go above and beyond to keep guests informed of situations, as they arise (and there are many challenges to overcome), and they go above and beyond to ensure guests are well taken care of aboard the train. We had the exact opposite experience on the Blue Train who dropped us off after 11pm in Johannesburg after they too had challenges. We were not from the area and were totally terrified, particularly as it was after curfew. Quite a different approach to customer service and safety. I would choose Rovos Rail any day! On board the staff were totally customer focused, they worked as a team, and nothing was too much trouble. The wine pairing was a lovely touch and made meals most interesting, while the food portions were tasty and well sized. They were happy to oblige personal preference and offer more if you requested it. Meals had a full course vegetarian alternative much appreciated. Roan Vos is very hands on, and we enjoyed the tour of the yards in Pretoria. We are looking forward to doing another trip with Rovos Rail, the question is which? Thank you for a great experience.
Written 29 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @ Travelpassi Thank you very much for taking the time to leave your review. We value your kind feedback and so appreciate your understanding of the challenges we face utilizing the South African railway infrastructure. We look forward to welcoming you on board again one day! Thank you too for travelling with us. Kind regards, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written 29 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

747nadia
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa300 contributions
From Victoria Falls to Pretoria
Jun 2021
What an amazing experience!
From the time we checked in to the time we stepped off the train it was magical.
Five star all the way with friendly service and attention to detail.

Our suite was very comfortable and the staff made sure that we did not lack anything. The electric blankets were switched on for us every evening.

The each dining experience offered a five course meal with wine pairing. Not even to mention the freshly baked bread and pastries.

The lounges were relaxing and all the cocktails and snacks were available.

Even though we could not reach Pretoria Station by train due to cable theft, Rovos Rail arranged for an air conditioned bus to pick us up and within an hour we were safely at the station welcomed by Mr Rohan Vos himself.

Definitely an item for the bucket list!
Written 3 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @ 747nadia Many thanks for your lovely review. We appreciate you taking the time to leave your comments and will certainly pass on your feedback to the crew on board the train. Thank you too for travelling with us. Kind regards, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written 11 August 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LynetteSusan
Bryanston, South Africa14 contributions
Rovos Rail trip to Hoedspruit
May 2021 • Friends
Good food & accommodation on train. Bad experience as we travelled from Pretoria to Hoedspruit. Train hooked broken cables and we were delayed for 7 hours before arriving in Hazyview to exit. We were then transferred to a taxi bus and driven through Townships & a road full of potholes for two and a half hours to Simbambili Game Lodge by a driver racing like a Lunetic and feared for our lives should a tyre burst!! We missed our flight from Hoedspruit to our Lodge as well as our afternoon game drive. Never again will we do this route from Pretoria to Hoedspruit on Rovos Rail with all the damage being caused by vagrants living on stations next to tracks. It is really scary especially when the train comes to a standstill for passengers to sleep at night😔
Written 29 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CSWalker71
White River, South Africa59 contributions
The Train Journeys in the World
Jan 2020
I have travelled on many famous train journeys around the world from Europe to the USA and Rovos remains the most luxurious from accommodation, service and cuisine by far. The experience is the perfect way to travel through Africa and cannot be highly enough recommended.
Written 6 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @ CSWalker71 Thank you for taking the time to leave your review. We value and appreciate your feedback and are so pleased your trip with us was enjoyable. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written 6 January 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DrillerBurlington
Burlington, Canada440 contributions
A Great Way to Cross South Africa
Feb 2020
We took Rovos Rail from Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe to Pretoria. It was a kind of "step back in time" trip in beautifully refurbished rail cars with cozy cabins, an elegant dining car and an observation/ bar car at the back. The experience was great. The food was exceptional for dishes put together in the kitchen car. The scenery was great. The rail staff were attentive and friendly. When we finished the trip at the Rovos Rail station/ headquarters we were treated with a guided tour of the restoration facilities by Mr. Vos himself. All very impressive.
Written 3 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @DrillerBurlington Many thanks for your kind review! We really appreciate your feedback. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written 6 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

J0nah
London, UK73 contributions
Great - but problems lie ahead. Good luck.
Mar 2020 • Couples
Let’s get the easy bit done first - these trains are the very highest standard of accommodation and cuisine and I would defy anyone to improve upon the service. And a gold star to Rohan Vos himself who gave a most interesting presentation of his operations at his Pretoria Station. An amazing entrepreneur and a fantastic leader.

That’s where it gets trickier. Our train was heavily delayed by power cuts, signal problems, engine shortages - you name it, we had it, but of course none of this was under the control of Rovos. Which meant that we were bussed from Matjiesfontein to Cape Town and missed a tour of Kimberley, which rather defeated the object of the whole exercise. Unless Rovos can resolve its relationship with the railway network I can’t see that it can have a viable future. This is a huge shame as it really could be a fantastic experience if it worked as it should.

In addition to the above Rovos now has to contend with the consequences of coronavirus. Mr Vos, his family and all their staff have our huge sympathy at this extraordinarily difficult times and we send out best wishes that you will be running trains soon.
Written 30 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @ J0nah Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We appreciate your feedback and apologise for the delays experienced on your journey due to the current infrastructure upgrades being implemented by Siemens and Transnet (national railway authority). Thank for you the kind words you did have to say about Rohan and our train, they are much appreciated. Kind regards Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written 1 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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